Doctor training reforms questioned by medical journal report

Modern
medical training risks producing poor doctors unable to diagnose or treat
patients effectively, according to a report published in the British Medical
Journal.

The
report claims the current reforms in medical teaching risk turning students
into poor doctors with inadequate knowledge of medicine.

The
authors, Professor Gareth Williams of Bristol University Medical School, and
student Alice Lau, said the reforms could have severe consequences for patients
and the profession.

Their
report claims the shift from the traditional in-depth methods of teaching
medicine could mean that new doctors enter the profession with significant gaps
in their medical knowledge.

A
third of British medical schools have already moved from in-depth, fact-based
teaching of subjects such as pharmacology, pathology and anatomy to more
problem-solving techniques.

The
reforms have been praised by the General Medical Council for releasing students
from the burden of memorising a large number of facts while improving their
ability to solve problems.

But
Williams and Lau said the reforms were being unjustifiably implemented as there
was no evidence they would lead to better practice.

“Educational
reform is being driven by an evangelical zeal for change, rather than by
rational responses to the shortcomings of the 
traditional curriculum,” stated the report.

By
Paul Yandall

        

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